Ironmen Run Through Cavs, Claim Share Of FAC Title

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Last season, Jackson and Chillicothe met at Alumni Stadium in week 10 with the Frontier Athletic Conference Championship on the line and the Cavaliers pulled away in the fourth quarter to claim the inaugural FAC title.

A year later, the same teams met at a rain-soaked Hernstien Field under the same circumstances: The winner gets a share of the FAC.

However, this year there was an added twist.

The loser would miss the playoffs.

Friday night, the Ironmen (7-3, 4-1 FAC) got their revenge on Chillicothe (7-3, 3-2 FAC), stealing the conference title and eliminating the Cavs from playoff contention with a 20-7 victory.

The game got off to a slow start. Both defenses were able to shut down the opposing offense for most of the first quarter.

It wasn’t until Chillicothe attempted a fake punt that the momentum favored either team.

Deep in their own end, the Cavaliers’ JJ Harris took the punt snap and attempted to get the first down with his legs, but was stopped well short of the line to gain. The Ironmen started the ensuing drive at the Chillicothe 26.

Six plays later, on 4th and goal from the six, Jared Icenhower ran wide left and made it just inside the pylon to give Jackson a lead they would never relinquish.

On the next Ironmen possession, Chillicothe committed two costly, dead ball penalties after stopping Jackson on 3rd down.

The flags would move the Ironmen all the way down to the Cavs’ 11. Jayden Spires scored on the next play and Jackson led 13-0 with just over 10 minutes to play in the first half.

For much of the first half, the Cavalier offense was unable to muster much of anything. They were only able to pick up four first downs, two of which came thanks to Jackson penalties.

It was much of the same for the Cavaliers in the second half.

Chillicothe’s defense did all they could to keep their team in the game, but the offense was unable to break through the Jackson defense until the game was decided late in the fourth.

The Ironmen defense held the Cavs to just 136 total yards on the night.

The Cavs were also 0/9 on converting fourth downs on the night. Two of those failed conversions set up Jackson with great field position.

Jackson had their rushing offense going on a night they needed it, finishing the game with over 200 yards on the ground.

Spires and Brody Landrum led the Ironmen, both finishing with 71 yards and Brice Graham added 64 of his own.

Jackson, with some help from Columbus-Bishop Watterson, fought into the playoffs as the likely 8-seed in Region 11.

The Ironmen will likely travel to Columbus to take on the top-seeded Hawks of Bishop Hartley.